A hugely important and archaeologically sensitive public green space requiring
Schedule Monument Consent for any development. PLAYLINK, in collaboration with the client and various specialists, navigated our scheme through the SMC process.
The new playable area sits between the dramatic ruins of the medieval abbey and the River Lark.
The intermingling of culture and nature provide the context for scheme dramatically reinstating the relationship between the play area and its setting.
A key aim was to create a shared, playable space, where the conventional barriers between play space and the wider public realm were smudged. Key decisions included creating paths that ran through the playable features, adding handmade seating, integrating existing equipment, extensive use of planting, and a bespoke tree house.
One outcome was more visitors and more 'dwell' time by park users. As the borough reported:
'The new play area is a vast improvement on the previous one.
As well as being far busier in terms of people using it, we have seen a big difference in the way that people use it.
Families bring picnics and blankets down and are very happy to set up and sit on the grass for much of the day.
Allowing their children to wander freely around the play space, especially now there are no segregated areas.
The sand and water area is much more popular than we could have imagined, the pure joy on children's faces as they entertain themselves in the sand is a pleasure to witness.
Children of varying ages interact with other children they don’t know and all get involved in games using their imagination.'